PC tech pilot fish is just starting out in Florida, and he gets the opportunity to learn by working with a much more experienced tech. "I had some experience with my own machines over the years, but this was the first time I was attempting to get paid by it," says fish.

"We walked into the office of a company that had hired us to do work for them before but were having problems with a PC restarting randomly."

The head tech goes back to the truck to collect some gear while the user describes symptoms to fish: first, a few days back, a fan that seems to be running roughly; then, more recently, a burning smell.

Fish passes the description on to the head tech. He sniffs at it, and off to the side tells fish there's probably nothing to it. "He said this user is notorious for having random problems that are never reproducible, and sees this support call as a little extra bread and butter for the company," fish says.

"He waxed on out loud about there being various bugs in the software that the company purchased several months ago and that he and I would track down the problem and fix it. When he didn't find anything wrong with the machine, he said he had done what he could do and loaded up his tools in his truck."

But just on a lark, fish pops the quick-release side panel on the case to see what he can see. Inside he discovers a pool of black sludge in the bottom of the case -- along with an army of dead cockroaches.

"The user failed to tell us that he spilled a Coke all over his PC," fish sighs. "Nothing had happened to the operation of the machine then, but after some time the tasty, sugary home had attracted tenants.

"The burning smell was a roach that had apparently flown around inside the case and landed on the fins of the heat sink. The bug had dried out, which was the reason there was no smell anymore.

"We pulled the entire system apart and literally gave him a new case and tossed the old one.

"That was the day that head tech €˜taught' me about fixing bugs."